Carmen Porco is a technology strategist at IBM, formerly at Prescient. He reports on a receent Social Intranet Study involving 1400 participants worldwide (sponsored by IABC).
[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2012 Conference. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]
- Social Intranet Study. The most popular tools ((61%) are blogs, discussion forums and instant messaging. 75% of the organizations that use social media have blogs.
- Senior executive support is critical. Porco showed us the blog of the CEO of Pepsi and a short internal video by IBM’s CEO. Their entries are short, but they definitely initiate engagement by employees — check out the comments. The key here is not to use a ghostwriter; ghostwriters rarely convey authenticity, which is critical for engagement./li>
- Wikis. 61% of the organizations that use social media use wikis. However, Porco cautions against using a wiki as your intranet. He equates this with “handing over the keys to your intranet to your 16-year old son.” This level of openness can have a huge negative impact on your information governance.
- Employee Social Networking. This normally means “facebook within the organization.” However, it could also include communities of practice, as well as tools like YouTube (video).
- Platform. 55% of the organizations that participated in the study use SharePoint. One common delusion is that SharePoint is free. However, the best looking SharePoint sites cost thousands to create and maintain.
- What’s a Social Intranet?. This is a intranet that deploys multiple social tools. In other words, it’s not just a bulletin board for documents. Rather the social intranets permit user sharing, commenting, instant messaging, etc.
- User Satisfaction. Forrester tested 1500 intranet sites for user satisfaction. Only 3% passed! The other 97% had common failings: illegible text, poor navigation, etc.
- Key Lessons from the Study. (1) you get what you pay for. (2) change management is critical for use and satisfaction. (3) Training all users, but especially your top executives. You need to be sure they understand how to use the tool and actually DO use the tools. (4). Communication is key. Cross-promote as much as you can in order to get the word out.
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I’m very curious to learn more about Forrester’s test of intranets. A 3% pass rate makes me sceptical that the survey was able to manage user expectations of what an intranet should be. Is it possible we are asking intranets to do too much?